Radical Sikh group leader booked over death threats to Punjab Congress chief Raja Warring

The Ludhiana police Thursday booked Amritpal Singh Mehron, the leader of a radical Sikh organisation, for alleged hate speech and issuing threats to Punjab Congress president Amrinder Singh Raja Warring in an interview.

This was after Warring, while targeting the AAP government over the law and order situation in Punjab, alleged Wednesday that even he was getting open death threats from criminals and anti-social elements. Attending meetings for the upcoming municipal corporation polls in Ludhiana, he said a man had openly threatened to eliminate him.

Amritpal Singh is the chief of ‘Qaum De Rakhe’ (protectors of the community), which shot into the limelight in 2020 when its members vandalised the statues of folk dancers near the Golden Temple in Amritsar. Amritpal had said that statues of dancers performing bhangra and giddha near the Golden Temple were against the sentiments and beliefs of the Sikh community. He was booked, arrested and later released on bail.

The new first information report (FIR) against Amritpal was registered on the complaint of Assistant Commissioner of Police Sumit Sood and it says the radical group leader glorified weapons besides issuing death threats to Warring.

The police said Amritpal had given this interview in reply to a tweet by Warring. The FIR states that Amritpal in his interview purportedly said “…these people have got scared seeing 32 bore and 12 bore weapons which we have displayed… what will happen to them when we will bring out the weapons which are still hidden..”

The FIR states that Amritpal said, “the way they eliminated Indira (Gandhi), one day they will eliminate him (Warring) too..”

Warring had earlier tweeted a photograph of Amritpal, in which he was brandishing a weapon, and said, “We welcome and appreciate baptising youth and bringing them close to Sikhi, but for Gurus’s sake don’t promote weapons which will eventually lead to violence. We have already paid a heavy price. Those horrible memories are still haunting us. Please don’t push Punjab again into dark era..”

Ludhiana police commissioner Mandeep Singh Sidhu said Amritpal was booked under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 188, 506 of Arms Act section 25 in the case registered at division number 5 police station. “The interview in which he promoted weapons and threatened a political leader was recorded in Ludhiana. The police are keeping a strict vigil on social media and otherwise, to trace those persons who are trying to disturb peace and harmony in Punjab,” said Sidhu.

In another FIR registered by the Ludhiana police, Jatinder Goryan, a local BJP leader, has been booked for allegedly uttering derogatory words against a particular community in a viral video. He has been booked under IPC sections 294, 295-A and 506 of IPC in an FIR registered at the Jamalpur police station.

The AAP government led by Bhagwant Mann had ordered a crackdown on the display and glorification of weapons, hate speech and illegal weapon licenses, following a series of violent incidents in the state, including the murders of Shiv Sena leader Sudhir Suri in Amritsar and Dera follower Pardeep Singh in Faridkot.

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